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Family and Children's Agency of Louisville records

Identifier: RG_197-UA

The materials date from 1883 to 1970 and occupy 30.5 linear feet. They consist of articles of incorporation and by-laws, board minutes, annual and other reports, correspondence, financial records, photographs, scrapbooks, and publications from all of the antecedent organizations and the present day agency. An oral history project was conducted in 1982 to augment the written record.

The records contain documentation for the evolution of social work in the United States, the history of local relief-giving systems, changing ideas about poverty, its causes and cures, as well as the history of the agency itself and its principal funder, Metro United Way. Access to records containing the names of clients and personal information about staff is restricted.

This collection includes a copy of the "Report of the Tenement House Commission of Louisville," 1909.


  • 1883-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1883-1990s


Conditions Governing Access

Access to records containing the names of clients and personal information about staff is restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville and there are no additional restrictions.


77.7 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

The records of the Family & Children's Agency document the history of one of Louisville's foremost social service organizations. The agency was established in 1883 by local citizens interested in reforming the methods of charitable giving then employed by the many small religious and private relief-giving bodies in operation in the city. The Louisville Charity Organization Society, as it was first known, had counterparts in most of the nation's large cities and in England. It sent "friendly visitors," mostly women volunteers, into the homes of clients to investigate the circumstances and advise poor families and individuals about home and financial management as well as marital and parental relations.

The agency's emphases changed over the years. In 1907, it was reorganized and renamed Associated Charities. A few years later, in 1921, it became the Family Service Organization. Throughout the depressed 1930s and the war years that followed, the agency provided emergency services to the city's fledgling public relief institutions, at times supplying money, groceries, and clothing to needy Louisvillians. Following World War II, it placed more and more emphasis on family counseling and educational programs.

In 1959, the Family Service Organization merged with the smaller Children's Agency, itself the product of an earlier merger of the Children's Protective Association and the Children's Bureau. The new Family & Children's Agency continued to make adoptive and foster home placements until the late 1960s, when it abandoned that field to growing public organizations.

In 1997, Family & Children's Agency became Family and Children's Counseling Centers. In 2004, Family and Children's Counseling Centers changed its name to Family & Children First, Inc., and operates under then name Family & Children's Place.

Family and Children's Agency of Louisville Records
In Progress
Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid modified by Michele Lai-Fook
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752